ANMJ Featured Story

Editorial Lee Thomas, ANMF Federal Secretary

Wednesday 26th April, 2017

As nurses and midwives it’s our job to look after the healthcare needs of others. Caring is the fundamental core of what nursing and midwifery is all about and is what we do well for our patients, their families, and each other. 

But at the end of the day how well do we look after our own emotional and physical needs? How much do we give back to ourselves? 

International Day of the Midwife, 5 May, and International Nurses Day, 12 May, are perfect occasions to thank yourselves for all that you do by giving some self-love. Take the opportunity to ensure your own physical and emotional needs are being met on a regular basis. Simple activities to your routine such as a relaxing bedtime ritual for a better night’s sleep or regularly taking 10 minutes out of your day to switch off in peaceful surrounds can help strengthen coping mechanisms to better deal with everyday stresses that occur.

To help inspire you with ways to maintain your own wellbeing, the ANMJ has put together a range of articles and tips on managing stress, diet and physical health. 

The month of May is also a time to observe the themes for International Day of the Midwife and International Nurses Day, set by the Confederation of Midwives and the International Council of Nurses respectively. 

The theme for International Day of the Midwife is ‘Midwives, Mothers and Families: Partners for Life!’ This theme emphasises the working relationship midwives have with families to promote safe and fulfilling births. According to the World Health Organization around 800 women and more than 8,000 newborns die every day around the world due to largely preventable complications during pregnancy, childbirth and the immediate postnatal period. In addition nearly 3 million babies are stillborn every year. Many of these lives could have been saved if every birth had been attended by a trained midwife. The Confederation is encouraging midwives and families to band together to advocate for changes to midwifery and maternity services to prevent these deaths from occurring.

The theme for International Nurses Day is ‘Nurses: A Voice to Lead, Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals’. The purpose of this theme is to raise awareness of contributions nurses are making to achieve those goals.

This is particularly apparent in response to goal 3: Good health and wellbeing and is highlighted this month in ANMJ’s feature on Diabetes where nurse led interventions are proving pivotal in helping in the prevention and management of the disease.

Diabetes, which is fast becoming one of the world’s largest health epidemics, joins a list of other non-communicable diseases which have overtaken infectious diseases as the leading causes of mortality across the world. This has been attributed to economic growth, modernisation and urbanisation. With the changing profile of disease many health systems are not prepared to manage the shifting landscape of healthcare. 

Therefore how we improve the quality of health in terms of non-communicable diseases requires a new and considered approach. Already nurses are working towards this and are making significant inroads into disease prevention and care.

Clearly the role nurses and midwives play in the sustainability of healthcare is evident. This month acknowledge your value and applaud the work you do every day. Have a very happy International Day of the Midwife and International Nurses Day. 

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